So for anybody who wants to know how to make an incredible brisket just follow these simple directions....I totally ripped this off from my dad so I guess I will give him the credit. I literally stole it, copied and pasted from an email he sent me, but why try to rewrite it since he did such a great job. The only difference is, I cheat and do mine in the oven to cook it, then throw it on the grill to smoke it at the end. It is much less time consuming, but then again you don't get to sit by the grill drinking beer smoking cigars all day either, so is it really a better option?
How to pick a good brisket.
Note: DO NOT get a trimmed brisket; they do not have enough fat to tenderize the meat.
Select a brisket that you can easily fold over and touch the two ends together. A brisket is cut from either side of the chest/throat of the beef. As such, there are two layers of muscle and a layer of fat between the muscle and the skin. The main muscle runs lengthwise from body toward the neck. It is closer to the skeletal frame and thus is the fine grain meat you see in most restaurants. [For what it is worth, a cut of meat that comes from closer to the skeletal frame is naturally tender. That is why outer cuts require the marbling of fat in the meat to be tender.] OK. The second muscle runs almost perpendicular to the inner muscle, separated by a layer of fat. You want this layer of fat kept to a minimum. Fat is hard. Push into the layer of fat on the fatty side to determine how thick the outer layer is. This should be comparable to the inner layer. Compare the feel between a brisket that folds to one that does not and you will see what I mean. A brisket that does not fold will have a thicker inner layer of fat.
Preparation, Cooking & Cutting
With the fat side up, put the brisket in a foil pan big enough to hold the entire brisket. Pour in at least half of a bottle of Claude's brisket Marinade. Cover the pan with foil and cook at 225 degrees. Do not let it get too hot, over 275, or cool down too much, under 200. You want to let it cook about 45 minutes per pound, up to 8 hours. Check periodically to be sure the fat is cooking out and filling the pan; about half full of liquid (fat & marinate) is ideal. When it is cooked, the fat on top will peel off easily. Take the brisket out of the pan and scrape the top layer of fat off. Put this in a pan for the beans that you are also probably cooking. Next, separate the two layers of muscle by cutting the inner layer of fat. Trim off the excess fat from both pieces of meat by scraping across the grain of the muscle with a sharp knife. Using the sharp knife or an electric knife, slice the meat, again, perpendicular to the grain of the muscle. Once it is sliced, put the meat back into the pan with the juices it cooked in. Put it back on the grill, uncovered along with the pan of fat for the beans. If the juices do not cover the meat, add some water and/or more marinade. Put some fresh wood on the pit to make it smoke really big. It does not take a lot of wood at this point. You do not want the heat as much as you do the smoke. Try to keep it between 175 and 200 degrees. Continue adding wood as necessary to keep the smoke thick. After at least a couple of hours, it should be well smoked and ready to chow down.